Romaine Lettuce Contamination Strikes Again. Unlike In 2018, Health Officials Chose To Delay Announcement.
Food safety experts fault the CDC and FDA for not notifying the public during the outbreak in September. The FDA says its data indicated the tainted produce was no longer on shelves by the time romaine was identified as the likely culprit. No one died.
The Associated Press:
Health Officials Disclose Another Romaine Outbreak, Now Over
U.S. health officials disclosed another food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, but they said it appears to be over. The disclosure late Thursday comes after the produce industry said it was stepping up safety measures following a series of outbreaks , including one last year that sickened more than 200 people and killed five. It's not clear why romaine keeps sickening people, but experts note the difficulty of eliminating risk posed by raw vegetables grown in open fields. (11/1)
The Washington Post:
The FDA Learned Of An E. Coli Outbreak In September. Six Weeks Later, The Agency Finally Announced It.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified the FDA of the outbreak in mid-September and suspected leafy greens were the culprit on Sept. 19, according to Brian Katzowitz, a health communication specialist at the CDC. Both agencies determined romaine was the likely cause on Oct. 2. Asked why the agencies waited until Halloween to make a public announcement, Katzowitz told The Washington Post that “there are a few variables to consider when posting an outbreak, but the CDC generally posts outbreak warnings when there is something actionable for consumers to do.” (Brice-Saddler, 11/1)